Providers are looking to improve access to health insurance in India, including supporting more disadvantaged demographics. Strong economic growth, favourable regulatory developments, and rapid digitalisation will support market expansion.

Public health in India is clogged, underfunded, and only available to low-income citizens. According to GlobalData’s 2023 Financial Services Consumer Survey, 59.4% of Indians do not hold private health insurance, with this proportion being somewhat higher among women. Yet India ranks as the 11th-largest market for personal and accident health insurance worldwide, with the market valued at $13.7bn in terms of gross written premiums, as per GlobalData’s Global Insurance Database. Hence, the opportunity for providers is massive, particularly when considering that India is the most populous country in the world and its economy is growing strongly. While the Covid-19 pandemic has improved awareness about the importance of good health, the penetration rate of health insurance among more deprived communities will inherently be lower.

With insurance inclusion in mind, Future Generali has recently launched a health insurance plan that exclusively targets women. The plan, named Health Powher, is intended to address health ailments and concerns of women during their lifetime. Cover includes puberty and menopause-related disorders, stem cell storage, bone-strengthening injections for older women, and enhanced limits for female-only cancer treatments. Meanwhile, New India Assurance offers a policy for older individuals under its New India Sixty Plus Mediclaim Policy. The policy is specifically designed to cover the unique healthcare requirements and higher medical expenses of senior citizens.

The Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India’s (IRDAI) ambitious vision to provide Insurance for All by 2047 is aimed at ensuring that citizens have appropriate life, health, and property insurance in place. IRDAI’s vision will help overcome social barriers to the adoption of insurance among consumers, including providing a better understanding of the benefits of being protected, as well as facilitating the entry of new players.

Going forward, we will see the insurance industry on a fast track to reach a larger proportion of the population as well as specific demographic cohorts. Digitalisation will be crucial in reaching vast numbers of consumers effectively. Insurers are expected to increasingly target consumers online given the rapid propagation of mobile devices, with this also being a way of reaching communities in rural areas. A positive is that people are ready to embrace insurance digitally, with further data from GlobalData’s survey revealing that the largest proportion (35.8%) of Indians state that their preferred channel for purchasing a new insurance policy would be online using a mobile device.

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